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Three-Dimensional CFD Simulation and Experimental Assessment of the Performance of a H-Shape Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine at Design and Off-Design Conditions

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Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Scienze Applicate, Università degli Studi di Bergamo, Viale Marconi 5, 24044 Dalmine (BG), Italy
2
Dipartimento di Energia, Politecnico di Milano, via Lambruschini 4, 20156 Milano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Proceedings of the European Turbomachinery Conference ETC13, Lausanne, Switzerland, 8–12 April 2019, Paper No. 234.
Int. J. Turbomach. Propuls. Power 2019, 4(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijtpp4030030
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 20 August 2019 / Accepted: 27 August 2019 / Published: 2 September 2019
The paper presents the results of a computational study on the aerodynamics and the performance of a small-scale Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) for distributed micro-generation. The complexity of VAWT aerodynamics, which are inherently unsteady and three-dimensional, makes high-fidelity flow models extremely demanding in terms of computational cost, limiting the analysis to mainly 2D or 2.5D Computational Fluid-Dynamics (CFD) approaches. This paper discusses how a proper setting of the computational model opens the way for carrying out fully 3D unsteady CFD simulations of a VAWT. Key aspects of the flow model and of the numerical solution are discussed, in view of limiting the computational cost while maintaining the reliability of the predictions. A set of operating conditions is considered, in terms of tip-speed-ratio (TSR), covering both peak efficiency condition as well as off-design operation. The fidelity of the numerical predictions is assessed via a systematic comparison with the experimental benchmark data available for this turbine, consisting of both performance and wake measurements carried out in the large-scale wind tunnel of the Politecnico di Milano. The analysis of the flow field on the equatorial plane allows highlighting its time-dependent evolution, with the aim of identifying both the periodic flow structures and the onset of dynamic stall. The full three-dimensional character of the computations allows investigating the aerodynamics of the struts and the evolution of the trailing vorticity at the tip of the blades, eventually resulting in periodic large-scale vortices. View Full-Text
Keywords: vertical-axis wind turbine; complex 3D vortical structures; design and off-design turbine performance; vawt performance vertical-axis wind turbine; complex 3D vortical structures; design and off-design turbine performance; vawt performance
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Franchina, N.; Kouaissah, O.; Persico, G.; Savini, M. Three-Dimensional CFD Simulation and Experimental Assessment of the Performance of a H-Shape Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine at Design and Off-Design Conditions. Int. J. Turbomach. Propuls. Power 2019, 4, 30.

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